Intervention: Help a loved one overcome addiction

Specific details can vary, but programs typically involve a combination of individual and group therapy, educational sessions, and self-help and peer support meetings. Certification exams vary somewhat between verifying bodies but always call for extensive study and preparation. The ADC exam is especially rigorous and involves 150 questions that touch on screening, assessment, counseling techniques, treatment planning, and much more. In addition to passing this exam, aspiring drug counselors may need to provide proof of education and work experience.

An individual’s specific educational background and experience will determine the type of services they can provide. If you are interested in pursuing a career in substance use counseling, you may review our program overview or reach out directly to Sober College School of Addiction Studies for more information. We can discuss your substance abuse counseling unique situation with you and make recommendations for pursuing a degree in this field. The 2021 MH-CLD collects data from clients receiving mental health treatment services funded by state mental health agencies. Are you eager to make a meaningful difference and provide much-needed support as a drug and alcohol counselor?

What’s the Career Outlook?

The following conclusions regarding counseling individuals with substance abuse problems have been highlighted. Successful counseling outcome is dependent on counselor therapeutic skills such as focusing conversations on life problems, addressing presenting problems directly, and providing structure for counselor-client intervention. After completing a treatment program, individuals benefit from a well-structured aftercare plan. This plan serves as a roadmap to help them maintain their recovery progress. By adhering to an aftercare plan, individuals can better navigate the challenges they may encounter post-treatment. Group therapy topics centered around self-reflection and mindfulness teach individuals to stay in the present moment, understand their feelings, and develop healthier ways of coping with stress and anxiety.

  • Calling a national helpline can be a good place to start if you’re unsure where to look.
  • While they are not job-specific, employers look for individuals with soft skills that align with their company’s values and needs.
  • The employment sector also plays an important role in determining salary.
  • 3 out of 10 people in the United States have issues with mental health, drugs, or alcohol.

Substance abuse counselors, also known as addiction counselors, are licensed professionals trained in psychology, human behavior, chemical dependency and therapeutic methods. These therapists help people with behavioral disorders (primarily substance use) by talking through the complexities and causes of their addiction. Substance abuse counselors will work one-on-one with clients to develop goals and strategies for pursuing sobriety — all in a compassionate and confidential environment. People who choose a career in addiction counseling can work in a variety of settings, from hospitals and rehabilitation centers to halfway houses, prisons and private practices. Conclusions regarding effective counseling strategies for counseling individuals with substance abuse are limited in that this counseling specialty area has been driven more by experience and clinical intuition than by research.

Encouraging Client Recovery

Read on to learn how you can launch your career in substance abuse counseling by pursuing your bachelor’s degree and certificate at the University of Cincinnati Online. Counseling can help members with SUD explore the reasons behind their drug or alcohol use and come up with new, healthy coping strategies. It can be especially effective for members who also have a mental health condition, or who started using to deal with distressing emotions, trauma, or excessive stress.

Whether you or a loved one is seeking help, learning a few group therapy topics can help you know what it can do for you; it can be the first step towards a healthier and happier life. Many people with substance abuse problems are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behavior. Drug and alcohol abuse continues to be a global problem, and today more than ever, qualified addiction counselors are needed to help combat this epidemic. For example, a report by Optum found that someone dies of an opioid overdose every 13 minutes in America. Data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that in 2015, more than 15.1 million adults age 18 and up suffered from an alcohol use disorder. Your ongoing feedback will help you and your care team understand what tools, therapies, and self-care techniques are helping you feel better, and decide on a path forward once you’ve achieved your treatment goals.

Helping Clients Develop a Relapse Prevention Plan

They often counsel individuals or groups to help people understand the factors contributing to addiction. Helping people develop new coping skills and ways of thinking is another important part of what substance abuse counselors do. The online Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling from the University of Cincinnati is a 6-month program that will equip you to work with persons impacted by substance use disorders. Built for working professionals with a bachelor’s degree, it provides the knowledge and skills needed to support people struggling with addiction as well as advance related careers in the helping professions.

  • By Kendra Cherry, MSEd

    Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the “Everything Psychology Book.”

  • Substance abuse counselors often use CBT techniques to help clients recognize the inaccurate thoughts and feelings that help maintain addiction.
  • However, to ensure you find exactly the right treatment for you, or even if you just need a listening ear, call The Recovery Village — it’s free, completely confidential, and you don’t have to commit to a program.
  • The more degrees and certifications you earn, the more opportunities you’ll find for work.
  • To be licensed to work as a substance abuse counselor, a therapist must hold a master’s degree and have 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

In some cases, your loved one with an addiction may refuse the treatment plan. He or she may erupt in anger or insist that help is not needed or may be resentful and accuse you of betrayal or being a hypocrite. An evaluation by an addiction professional helps determine the extent of the problem and identifies appropriate treatment options. An intervention team usually includes four to six people who are important in the life of your loved one — people he or she loves, likes, respects or depends on. This may include, for example, a best friend, adult relatives or a member of your loved one’s faith. Your intervention professional can help you determine appropriate members of your team.

Animal Therapy

The curriculum covers everything from assessment to treatment planning and aftercare. Counseling, in the form of both individual and group sessions, will make up the foundation for treatment of a substance use disorder such as alcoholism or drug addiction. The complexity of addiction, characterized by intense, uncontrollable cravings, persistent consequences and a nagging desire to quit, affects every aspect of a user’s life. As such, substance abuse counseling is often the focus when it comes to providing supportive care for optimal recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 9.2 million Americans suffer from co-occurring disorders (e.g. mental health conditions) alongside a substance use disorder.

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